Muslim organizations have banded together to raise $100,000 in an effort to help rebuild Black churches in the South that were torched in recent months, the Huffington Post reports.
Three organizations — the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, the Arab-American Association of New York and Ummah Wide — launched the “Respond With Love” campaign July 2 to raise funds, combating a false and long-standing idea of a Islam/Christianity feud. The campaign concluded at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Post writes, with a total of $100,470.
“ALL houses of worship are sanctuaries, a place where all should feel safe,” the campaign stated.
From The Huffington Post:
The fundraiser started off with a goal of $10,000, but they hit that target within hours, Linda Sarsour, executive director of AAANY, said to HuffPost in an email. They increased the target amount a few more times, and the support kept flooding in.
Faatimah Knight, a theology student and one of the campaign’s organizers, believes “Respond With Love” went viral because it contributes to a colorful, nuanced narrative about the Muslim community. “It awakens [in] some and confirms in others that Muslims are diverse and varied and that many of our concerns are domestic concerns,” Knight wrote in an email to HuffPost. “Also, Respond with Love is an anti-racism effort and there are many people in this country who are tired of racist rhetoric and racist motivated violence.”Sarsour guesses the majority of the donors were Muslims, based on the surnames of the 2,016 people who donated. “Our campaign gave people the opportunity to take an extra step beyond just verbal solidarity,” Sarsour said to HuffPost. “Our campaign united people of all faiths, it resonated and the fact that it was lead by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan gave the campaign more meaning and legitimacy.”
Sarsour told the Huffington Post she hopes the campaign will “encourage non-Black Muslims to support the BlackLivesMatter Movement.”
Authorities have not connected the recent swath of fires at Black churches in the south. At least one of the blazes was ruled an arson, although the FBI announced that 84 percent of church fires are not caused by arson.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty